Known and admired for her deft reporting on topics ranging from the KKK to Hurricane Sandy, NPR’s Margot Adler died earlier this week after a three-and-a-half-year bout with cancer. She started out at as the host of “Hour of the Wolf,” a show about sci-fi writers on WBAI in New York City, before joining NPR where, among other achievements, she landed the first radio interview in the country with J.K. Rowling—the brains behind Harry Potter. She was the granddaughter of Alfred Adler, the Viennese psychoanalyst who became one of Freud’s rivals.
According to the New York Times, Margot Adler was “a self-described Wiccan high priestess who adhered to the tradition for more than 40 years,” and wrote the influential Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America. Adler explained later that her attraction to neo-paganism had very much to do with its ties to feminism and the natural world.
In addition, Adler also wrote a memoir, Heretic’s Heart, and the book, Vampires Are Us, which grew out of her reading of 260 vampire books—a feat she accomplished in the nine months it took her husband to succumb to cancer in 2010. “Unlike me,” she said in an interview with her NPR colleague Neal Conan, “he’d never done any drugs in the ’60s,” alluding frankly and with some humor to her counter-culture bona fides.